Information Worker VM Rant

I try to avoid Hyper-V at all costs when working on my laptop.  I am a developer usually all I need is VMWare and my own virtual machine that I built very bare bones server that can run search and profiles code easy.  It has Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Standard 2008 R2 usually with a base on of Win Server 2008 R2.  This week I find myself downloading the Information Worker VM for a client demo, which I do rarely.  I am doing an SDPS somewhere in the New York Metro area.  I need to show them a ton of the things that SharePoint can do.

So first off I went to download this vm and it’s in about 41+ pieces and there is no download all link.  This is terrible architecture and a huge waste of my time.  Why can’t I use the Microsoft File Transfer Manager?  Also, the VHD and assorted files need an exe file for each to piece the rars back together.  I had error on Part A and Part C, so I had to re-download some of the bits.  The second time it works perfectly fine, but this was a huge irritation having to re-download different bits.  I want to know am I trying to piece the Dark Lord Voldemort back together?  Is that why this is ripped into a billion chunks?

The next bit really frustrates me.  You can only use Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 and VMWare Workstation 8.  So I went and looked around at convertors and they just suck.  The VMWare one no longer converts VHDs like it used to and gives me all kinds of error messages when I attempt to convert one VM.  Win Image makes a single vm so large that my laptop does not have the storage capacity for this kind of conversion.  Next time if I’m doing this kind of test I’m doing it on my desktop with the 1.5 TB drives, because I have massive amounts of storage on this beast.  Also, next time I might not even bother trying.

So now what I am doing is running the VM within my other SharePoint VM on VMWare Workstation 8.  How ridiculous does that sound?  Why is this not useable on my PC with Win 7?  I remember back in the day VPC worked perfectly fine on Windows XP.  I feel like we’ve jumped backwards about 8 steps with VMWare Convertor and Hyper V.  I am hoping with Win 8 and maybe a huge revamp some day to that Information Worker VM some day it’s useable without all this ridiculousness.  I guess if I had a hypervisor running on my bare bones PC it would work or if Windows Server 2008 were my main OS.  I am a little disgruntled, but there isn’t much I can do but suck in my gut and roll with the punches as usual.

Print | posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 3:57 PM

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# re: Information Worker VM Rant

Left by Stephen Christiansen at 7/16/2012 11:33 AM
Gravatar Hey Becky...

I echo your frustrations. Windows 8 does include a 64 bit hypervisor, which is nice, but even in Windows 7 you can boot into VHD, which means no needing to convert and you can take advantage of all your system resources. Several guides online explain how to do this, even using the SharePoint VHD!

Next... several Microsoft guys are using VirtualBox by Sun/Oracle (*gasp) which is free and natively runs VHDs. No conversion necessary.

Lastly... downloading these IS a pain... makes me dream of the old FTP days... lol... especially if you're using the Microsoft salesdemo site. Omg... that's painful. I don't mind that they offer small chunks, but please also offer a single download and give us the option of using a download manager. Everybody else does.

All that said... love your writing, love your blog. Keep up the good work. :)

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